A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 1, 1638-1653. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Letters of information without dates, from Mr. Corker, relating to Dr. Hewitt's plot.
I have sent this bearer my kinsman unto you, whom I durst not command, if I did not perfectly know him to be a faithfull, temperate, and much above his yeares ingenious. His father is a man of good estate and reputation in Yorkshire; this young man his eldest son and heire. If your honour please to own him in any condition, whereof you imagine him capable, you will for ever oblige him, and
Your humble servant, Corker.
We have a strong alarum amongst us, that there is a plott discovered amongst yourselves at Whitehall, which you keepe private. We wait to heare the certainty of it, and whether any thinge of our designe be discovered by it.
The leading partie of the Cavalliers are (as I heare) Russel, Nicholls, Read, Hopton, Treswell, Dean, Binns, Gilby, Willis, Mallom, Armstrong, Weston, and Villers. These or some of them have their constant meetings. There is a secret whispering among us, that my lord of Oxford will be the chief of this party.
There is a knott or juncto of Recusants also, who have frequent meetings at one captain Porie's, a private tipling-house over against the king's gate, in the upper end of Holbom. If you send thither any spie to informe you, when there is much companie in the house, you will find the most of them, uppon a strict examination, very dangerous and disaffected persons. The housekeeper himselfe is a very great Recusant.
Rogers, who escaped lately out of the Gate-house, hath been beyond sea, and is lately returned again. He is conjectured to be a man employed by you. Every man endeavours to avoyd him; and information to that purpose is sent to all those about Ch. Stew.
We have a report here, which we pretend is sent us from Whitehall, to encourage us, that there are letters come in Latine, to inform his highnes of the overthrowe of the Swedes; and (to use their own words) there is miserabilis exitus belli Suevici.
We have news also, that the whole army of Flanders, as well officers as others, shall be paid by the burgomasters of Flanders, and the monie sent by the king of Spain, not embezilled by the officers, as formerlie it hath been, which, we conceive, will be much advantage to the affaires of Flanders; and that the inhabitants therupon resolve to raise a very considerable army.
There was lately with me Mr. Gatford, formerly my tutour in Cambridge, and one well known to his highnes. He came to enquire of me, whether his highnes taking the crown uppon him would be of more advantage or prejudice to the affaires of Cha. Stew. I answered him, that the Stew. party was much divided about it: some judged advantageous, because it would be a means of incensing the Presbiterians and Levellers. Others judged it prejudiciall, because the crowne of England, however obtained, made the king of England, and the people were ever obedient thereunto. He desired me to gett him further satisfaction as to this particular, because his interest with some of the chief officers about his highnes was soe great, that his advice would much sway them in this busines.
A letter of information from Mr. Corker.
I have been verie diligent in enquiring after the plott I last informed you of. I find, that the Cavallier partie begin to stick, that they cannot be assured of the murther of his highnes, before they begin to act. However it is intimated to me, that his highnes . . . . to Chelsey, to bowles. Speciall care ought to be taken of a foot-way, as he passeth by, that it be free from all murthering latitants. I have been with Dr. Hewit, who is one of the chief agents belonging to Ch. Stew. He assures me, that sodainly we shall have verie much action and commotion. He tells me, that the busines will be begun by a party of the army and a party of Levellers, a great distance from London; and that at the same time they intend to rise here, and that with such desperate fury, that (to use his own words) he feares the city will be fired in many places. He tells me, that one Wildman is the chief instrument to raise that party of the army and Levellers abroad; yet withall, that they have some suspition of Wildman, because Mr. Seymour reports from colonel Overton in the Tower, that Wildman holds secret correspondency with the protector.
He tells me also, that he is much troubled with messages from several counties, as Shropshire, Suffex, and others, who are mad to be in action, and want pardons and commissions for that purpose, which he hath long agoe sent for to Ch. Stew. but as yet hath no return, which is a great retarding of that busines. This delay he imputes to a stop at Callis; because none, that have served against the parliament, are permitted to come into that town, if they be known.
There is one of the clerks of the councell, that hath long, and doth still discover many of your passages to him, and particularly, that a coll. who was once prisoner in the Tower, and now with Ch. Stew. doth hold intelligence with coll. Barkstead; which coll. (he saith) he hath discovered by his wise living so high here in town uppon a very small estate.
He told me a story, which, if you were a fowler, might be of some use to you. We two discoursing concerning the murthering of his highnes, and I urging the difficulty of it, he told me, it was true, indeed, he wore a private coat, as he was informed by a Presbiterian minister; but they had a way to pierce it, which was this: To take some graines of pepper, (white the best) and steep them 24 hours in the strongest aqua vitæ, and then mix three or four graines with the powder, wherewith a pistoll is charged; and that pistoll will carry levell twice as far as before; and therefore by consequence peirce twice as deep. This minister preached before his highnes at Hampton-court; and being invited to heare his highnes exercise, he asked the boy, that waited on him in his chamber for accommodation, what was the reason his highnes did sweat so much? The boy answered, that he had a close-coat under his other cloths, which was the reason his highnes did sweat so muche; which was the . . . .
I am told, that the party, that is to command in chief those, that shall rise in and about the city, hath been this month at some private place within ten miles of Oxford. Some here in towne are bold to say 'tis Massie.
The Cavalliers are much afraid to be banished this town, before the busines be over. Mr. Stapeley hath this last week writt again to Dr. Hewitt in wonder, that he hears nothing of his pardon and commission.
A letter of information from Mr. Corker.
Our last letters from abroad informe us, that they absolutely intend to have a push for all this winter; and therefore we are to encourage our party, and to prepare them to be in what readines they possibly can.
The same letters import, that Don John hath lost his reputation much of late, by living so high himself, and letting his soldiers in the mean time miserably want; and that the Flemings intend (in case the king of Spain does not speedily releive them) to take protection under the Dutch.
There is belonging to the duke of Buck. as his chief gentleman and favourite, one whose name is Hescott, a desperate Cavallier. He was formerly your prisoner, killed his keeper, and made his escape into the islands of Scilly. He lay in this town, whilest his lord was at Cobham, and followed him post, Northward, upon thursday last.
Mr. Morland's long absence hath been the occasion, that I could not conveniently apply myself to you for my sallary. I humbly now therefore beseech your honour to remember me, and give speedy orders concerning it.
Mr. Corker to Mr. S. Morland.
We have no news, save that Sir Edward Hide hath sent to us, to inform us, that Charles Stuart hath for some special reasons deferred his designe of coming over; but it will not be long before he putt it in execution; and that therfore we would be in a present and continual readines, and resolve unanimously to redeem ourselves from that slavery we live under; and that if we faile, he will by the hazard of his person make it appeare both to God and the world, the defect is in ourselves, and not in him. We talke of a sealed knott of nine or ten . . . . set up here in towne, for the more effectual dispatch of busines. We judge Suffex to be the best affected . . . . . England, and we have hopes to drawe . . . . Stapeley to our party, as well as his elder brother. Our letters from beyond sea intimate in . . . that the day of our redemption draws near particular ground they have for it . . . . . learn, because not any of those speciall . . . . that were sent over, are yet returned. When they doe return, the result of what they brought shall be speedily and faithfully imparted to your honour, by . . . Symonds.
Mr. Corker to secretary Thurloe.
There was with me this morning one captain Mallom, a profest Cavillire, who told me, that col. Dean, whoe goes by the name of Smith, and major Hern, was with him, to see how many he could ingage; and that they have been with severall other Cavilliers to the same purpose. They report to him, that some of your own party are resolved to seize or murther his highnes; which when they have done, they would have a considerable party in the city, to oppose what the lord maior should doe.
They report, that the Cavilliers shall doe nothinge, till the protector be first dispatched; but that then they would be in readines to joyn together; for which purpose they shall have 24 hours warning. They report also, that there is a considerable person in town obscure, to head this rising party; only he desires by his agents, that every one should bring in a list what they can raise.
I sollicited my friend Mallom to bring me acquainted with this Dean, who rides up
and downe verry sollicitously to ingage men. When I heare more, you shall be informed
Your humble servant, John Symonds.
Information from Mr. Corker.
Lieut. col. Thomas Wentworth Mr. Doleman Mr. Hammerton, sen. and jun. Mr. Percy Major Ferdinando Thimbleby Mr. Tho. Stringer Sir Walter Vavasor Capt. Thomlinson Capt. Harebred Mr. Thornhill, jun. Mr. Rookes Col. Mallom Col. Francis Carr Mr. Ambrose Pudsey Major Beaumont Sir John Kay Capt. Horsefeild Col. Portington Col. Wheatley Capt. Wheelby Mr. Hen. Portington Mr. Will. Ramsden Sir Geo. Wentworth Mr. Mich. Wentworth Mr. Arme Mr. Rickard Mr. Hatton Mr. Ireland Mr. Richard Tankred Lieut. col. Tho. Fairfax Mr. Emanuel Gilby Mr. Lee The earl of Strafford threatens to bring up the reare
Mr. John Stapeley Mr. Tho. Woodcock and fratres Mr. Goring Mr. Mallery Mr. Nic. Gildrige Mr. Tho. Foster Mr. Nutt Mr. Selwin, jun. Mr. Bishop Mr. Sackvile Mr. Will. Markwick Mr. Graves Mr. Ashbomham Mr. Car clergiemen. Mr. Naylor clergiemen. Mr. Hall clergiemen. Mr. Milnes clergiemen.
The concealed person, that we have heard to act privately in London for this long tyme, is Mr. Daniel O Neale; but he acts cunningly by two or three instruments only, who they say are Weston, Armstrong, and Mr. John Russel.
A letter of information from Mr. Corker.
I have endeavoured after all the intelligence I possibly can, and first to that of shipping. The frigot, that intends to revolt, lies in the Thames. She is a new frigot. One went down out of the city yesterday morning, 32 miles, to her, where she lyes with a declaration from Cha. Stu. by which they hope to ingage two or three more. The port they all advise to goe into, is Dunkirk.
As for other busines, take this account: Cooper went away for Flanders on monday last; Hopton this day; Palden on monday next; all of them for blank commissions, to make coll. gen. for every county; whereof Mr. John Stapely in Sussex, with whome I am sent to correspond, is to be one.
As for the city, here are three severall parties intend to ingage. There are endeavours used to unite them as to the maine. They intend to seize your horse here in towen. This is the only obstacle at present. Charles Stuart hath sent an express to them, not to move till four days after his landing; but they are about sending a messenger to him of their owne, to informe hime, that they thinke it better to rise four days before his landing. Their reason is this, because otherwise you will seize all the horse in the city for your use, and so disappoint them of their purpose.
All this you may presume uppon is certainly true, or else let me suffer. Other flying reports we have amongst us, that the Spaniard and Ch. Stuart's forces are drawing nearer to the sea-ports in Flanders; and the busines will be as soon as the agents came back; and that a treasury is to be setled here in London; and that Kent and Surrey were to draw to London uppon summons. But this I am sure of, that uppon thursday morning next I shall have information, whether Sussex shall follow their course likewise.
Mr. Moorland tells me, according to your intelligence, that there can be no such preparation either at home or abroad. But be not mistaken; for ere it be long, you will be of my opinion, if it be not visible to you at present. You will see cause very sodainly of my information.
A letter of information from Mr. Corker to secretary Thurloe.
I was again with Dr. Hewit, and acquainted him with what I heard of col. Bishop in Sussex; as namely, that he was altogether led by Wildman and Mr. Hen. Martin. He told me, that he would write to his friends to have nothing to doe with him, in regard I suspected Wildman to be employed by you; and that, first, because col. Overton hath sent to informe him so; and secondly, because Wildman, going beyond seas, was stopped at Gravesend by another name; and notice thereof being sent to you at Whitehall, he was permitted to goe; and at his being beyond seas, Mardyke was delivered, for which he is much suspected.
What I heare more, I shall faithfully informe you; so that I am confident you may either intrapp the whole designe and designers by your pretended ignorance and security, or you may prevent them by your publike preparation to oppose them. We are informed, that this designe, or something of it, was discovered to you; and that thereupon you sate in private councell about it this last friday. We are much encourag'd with the weaknes of your army both foot and horse. First, for your foot, you keep them without mony, till you are ready to draw them out; and so others are afraid to list themselves. And 2dly, for your horse, your officers have by one means or other put off their old soldiers, and taken in new ones of some relation to them; so that it is not an old, but a new raw army we are to ingage against,
There is one Skelton, a captain, employed in Holland, who hath written to colonel Roscarrak, to inquire whether he hath been smoaked here in England for giving intelligence, because if there be no suspition upon him, he will very shortlie come over to effect some busines for Ch. Stu. who hath his son for one of his pages.
Sir, I humbly thank your honour for your remembrance of me in this sum of one hundred pounds by Mr. Morland. I hope by my diligence and fidelity to deserve this from you, and the rest of your gracious promises to me.
Sir, I can helpe you with some difficulty to some agents here in towne; but I feare they may thereuppon suspect me: but I can doe it any time hereafter, when the busines is more ripe, and you may have better information from them.
A letter of information from Mr. Corker.
The designe I last acquainted you withall still goes on. Those of the Cavallier party, that have their frequent meetings about it, are Sir Richard Willis, one Russell, Nicolls, and Hopton; and two others, who are prisoners to the Gate-house, but have liberty to goe abroad; viz. Sir Thomas Armstrong, and one Weston. All these give out to their adherents, that the busines will be quickly done.
The Popish party are very much discontented, and have some strong designe in hand. The French ambassador knows it, and they are timerous, that he should discover it. Sir John Arundell is a chief man in this designe.
Dr. Hewitt (for any thing I can learn) hath not yet sent the commissions to Mr. Stapely. I heare, that he goes out of town on monday, and returnes again on tuesday. It is my imagination, that he was to meet him, because he himself told me, that on wednesday he did intend to send one Carlton, whom I know, to Ch. Stew.
Some of the Cavallier party brought a letter from Sir Edward Hide to Doctor Hide, to furnish them with some money to buy armes, which he refuseth to doe, alledging, that the busines is so laid, that they will quickly be provided of armes.
Care ought to be taken of some of your foot regiments, when they goe to church, that they carry their armes in with them; for I heare, that when the busines is ready, they intend to seize one regiment in that manner.
Some report, that one particular man hath undertaken to assassinate his highnes; others say, that there are severall of your officers engaged to set up Lambert. This last doctor Hewit told me; and that all parties agree as to his highnes destruction. But they cannot agree concerning the consequences; for it is thought, that the discontented ones among you will shake off the Cavalliers, if they can doe their busines without them; and therefore the Cavalliers have precise orders to get into armes and body uppon the first insurrection.
I have certain intelligence, that at Bristow the discontented party have provided themselves sufficiently with armes, and can be able to master the town at pleasure. They wait with much impatience, till they be ready at London.
I am told, that my lord Roberts (though he will not be brought to hold personall correspondency with any Cavallier, yet he) is a man firme for us, and will engage servently, as he hath expressed himself to Sir John Arundell, whome he only trusts.
We have heard also of one of his highnes's waiting officers was sodainly sick; and that it was imagined to be poyson; and that you were all much troubled to find it out, but could not tell whom to suspect. This is the news we feed ourselves withall at present, and animate those fools, that will beleive us.
A letter of information from Mr. Corker to Secretary Thurloe.
Yesterday col. Dean had a meeting with Hopton, Carlton, and Williams, with others. Uppon deliberation they sound, that their enterprise of rising was not yet ripe as to all occurring circumstances; therefore they desired Dean to cease his listing of men, untill such time as he had further orders from them; and that they would give him fourteen dayes space for that purpose.
Dean having (as he reports himselfe) 6000 men in readines, is very much incensed against these agents, saying, that they mind their own profits and pleasures, and not the king's busines; and therefore he tells me, he will undertake the busines himselfe with his own party. The manner how he will doe it, is thus: He saith, he is informed, that his highnes with some of his councell is to dine in the city on wednesday next. If this information be true, he hath a sufficient party to doe it, as he is at dinner; if it be false, he will watch annother opportunity. You was pleased to signifie to me, that you had a mind to have Dean. I know his lodging; therefore I refer it to your own consideration, what you will have done in it; whether you will stay for further occurrences, or you will have him apprehended presently. If you please to give Mr. Morland order concerning this particular, he and I shall contrive the execution of it.
A letter of information from Mr. Corker to Mr. S. Morland.
There are three persons only intrusted, as to the forming and ordering of their busines; and they have allotted to severall men their severall posts. Their designe is to seize all their known opposers in every street, and to secure the city gates, till they have accomplished their number and order; and then directly to march to Whitehall, to drive his highnes from thence, presuming after that he will not be able to bring his army to a rendesvous.
I heare there is one Mulverry, a merchant, a great stickler, and one whose name (as I think) is Deane. I am sure he is a partner with Brown in his way of trading. This man saith, there is no looking back, unles they intend every man to be hanged at his own doore.
As for news from abroad, letters by the last post speak high. Cooper hath written to his friend here, that they are still upon their design for England, and that their hopes are not so dead as we imagine here.
The report amongst us is, that Ch. Stew. layeth much blame upon Ormond and O Neale, for persuading his friends here, that he was in readines to come, when really he was not, and for which they had no commission from him, and that therefore Ormond is confined.
They say also, that the Spaniard would out the chancellour, but his master dare not doe it, because he knows all his secrett transactions and correspondencies; and therefore there are some thoughts of pistolling him privatly.
I was told within these two houres, that the city intends to fall upon their designe tomorrow at night. This came from one Stanhope a marchant in Fanchurch-street, brother to Jack Stanhope the great gallant here in town; but I am induced to believe no such hast, because Mr. Wivell told me yesterday, that there should be private directions sent to all the chef Cavilliers without the city the beginning of this week, to inform them what they shall doe in this busines.
Davison sent yesterday 5 l. to Palden in the Tower; so that I believe Dr. Hewett and he enriched themselves uppon Ch. Stew. account, for which they now stand accused: as before they were rewarded for conveying other mens money to your enemies, so now they are paid for their concealment.
I believe the duke of Buckingham is not ingaged in this busines, because he sent to Roscarrock, that if it went on, he would doe them the best service he could, and freely ingage his person with them; but Roscarrock declined it.
The evidence of Charles Wheeler, of . . . . .
Who saith, that in Candlemas term was twelvemonth, he was ingaged in a design with Charles Stuart, who had then a very considerable army, and it supposed he would [land], and that there were to be 20,000 to be raised in the West-country for his assistance, besides a very considerable party in the North, and in the city of London. That the city were to rise, when the former were up in the North and West; and when the lord protector had drawn the forces out of the city that then they would have seized the city, and made sure of the lord Tidhbourne, and two or three aldermen, and hang them. That the deponent lay at the Lamb at Watergate Bristol, at the postmaster's, four months, expecting every day and hour to receive orders from the king, when the rising should be. The person, by whom they were to have their said instructions, was major Clayton. That the deponent, lying there so long in expectation of the effecting the design, was not gone forward; the deponent journeyed to London, where he fell sick, and was very much troubled, and related to his highnes the said design before Christmas, and was afterwards employed by his highness; and that his highness wrote a letter to imbrue England, the nation, in blood, and that they would seize upon Bristol; and therefore advised them to put themselves into a military posture. That after the deponent had acquainted his highness with this design, the deponent met with major Clayton in Salisbury-court: they had some discourse in relation to the business, told the deponent, that now for certain all things were ripe, ready and fit for action, and expected orders every moment, every day. The deponent said to him, he wondered he durst be seen here, because of the proclamation for his being gone out of the city; who answered, he durst not stir, it was as much as his life was worth; he expected orders every day from the king's chief agent, to go down into the West for the rising. This was in January, February, and March last; and further saith, that he lay with major Clayton by order from Mr. secretary, and gave account unto him.
Mr. Corker to secretary Thurloe.
Wee have much flying news from beyond sea; as that Ch. Stew. is gone away again privately out of Flanders; that the Hollanders (notwithstanding their faire pretences to you) are treating with him, and will assist him; and so likewise is the duke of Brandenburgh: but these things I give you as our rumours, referring the certainty thereof to your better intelligence. This which followeth is very true.
This last week, Palden and annother was with the duke of Buckingham at Windsor, who told them, there was a petition presented unto the councell about his release; he hoped it might take effect; but if not, he would endeavour his escape. He acquainted them with the manner of it, and they me, desiring my assistance in it, and alleadging how beneficiall it would be to me. And truly the designe is so well layd, that in my judgement it cannot well miscarry. I cannot conveniently make known to you the particulars in writing, but shall doe either to yourself or Mr. Morland, as soon as I am able to stirre out of my chamber, being at present afflicted with the stone; but I hope in a recovering condition. This I thought fitt to make knowne to you, because you may chuse either to prevent it, or see how far he will proceed in it, and to what purpose.
These that conspired your murther are much troubled, for that they heare you have got some information of their designe, because your lady did expresse soe much to the countesse of Mulgrave very lately, and that her son Rob. was ingag'd in it. There was one on saturday last at Kensington, to know whether you continue your coming thither still or no. One of them suspects annother for the discovery. Palden suspects Roscarrock, and he Mr. John Stanhope. I beseech you keep this from the eare of the lady Mulgrave again, least they be jealous of me, in regard none knows of the discourse betwixt your lady and her, besides myself and him, from whome I heard it.
A letter of information from Mr. Corker.
I had thought all things had been at a stand, since the flight of Deane, and the apprehension of Sexby; but I am informed this last night from two or three severall hands, that the conspiracie concerning the murthering of his highnes, and the rising of the city, is as eagerly prosecuted as ever. I am confident, it is not the Cavalliers plott; but the instrument, if not the main engine, is among you at Whitehall. The Cavallier party is not acquainted (at present) with any particulars, onely have orders to arme themselves privately, and to stir when occasion shall require. Some of them, not willing to engage uppon a busines, which they doe admire, but cannott apprehend, resolve to goe out of towne; others are making provision according to the orders they have received, and are promised twenty-four hours warning.
I know not, neither can I learne more as yet. We are promised, that the busines is well set, and hard to be prevented, and will be effected within this week; and this discourse is positively affirmed to us, that (to deale ingeniously with you) if it be not the contrivance of some, to see whome they can draw in, it is a reall and serious plot against his highnes person, and peace of this nation.
I am told, that this is to be acted without Ch. Stew. speciall order or knowledge; and I am sure his agents here know litle of it, but are preparing the counties to be ready against November, according to their instructions; so that the whole of this busines is wholy from annother party.
Mr. S. Morland to secretary Thurloe.
Mr. Corker has been with mee this morning, and intends to wait on your honour in the afternoon at Whitehall, or else at Kensington. He says, that a speedy rising is intended in the West; though as for particulars, he has not many.
Mr. Corker to Mr. S. Morland.
I have had more intelligence, since I saw you, that they certainly intend to rise morrow in the night. This day there are severall persons from all parts about the city come into it. Many more come to-morrow. Severall eminent Cavalliers in the suburbes are for the city to-morrow night. The duke of Buckingham ingageth to bring in his father-in-law in a short time. Sir Henry Moore (as they call him) goes this night for Flanders, with an expresse of their intention. They are sending also several agents into severall countries. Here are some to give them notice. They hope to be masters of Windsor on sunday; and say, that place is assured for them. This I had just now from Roscarrock, who hath been this day with some in the city. Coll. Treswell also tells me the same, and he goes to them to-morrow. If I heare nothing from you to the contrary, I will certainly meet you at the time and place mentioned in yours; and if any thing further come to me in the mean time, you shall be acquainted speedily by
Mr. Morland to secretary Thurloe.
Some hours since, Mr. Corker brought the inclosed, who also told me, that one Dr. Wilde, living in Fleet-street, has a private church there, which is contrived in privat chambers, with seats, a pulpit, and all things necessarie for that purpose; and that every forenoon (but especially the wednesdayes and fridayes, between nine and ten of the clock) are assembled most of Ch. St. agents, viz. Palden, that . . . . . and Bins, who calls himself Dawson, Withrington, who takes upon him the name of Green, Barker, who goes by the name of Lamb, and Leister, Mr. Culpeper, &c. as likewise, that all or most of them meet in the evening at a tobacco-shop, who sells severall kinds of physick-drinks, (his name hee knowes not, but will learne) overagainst Salisbury-court in Fleet-street.
A letter of Mr. Corker.
I have nothing to acquaint you withall, more then this letter I received this week from Sir Marmaduke Langdale. By the North countrie merchants, he means the Northern gent. and by those stragling goods, he means such persons as I can procure here in the South to goe Northward; for his design is to make that party he is to command there as great as he can.
There is one sent to Ch. Stew. to acquaint him, that Scarbrough may be easily surprized, if he think it fitt and seasonable. There is one major John Scot, who was formerly by you banished, now returned privately from Ch. Stew. into London. He is brother-in-law to Mr. Perpoint.
There is a discourse among the Cavallier party, that there is no way to murther his highnes, but to way-lay him as he goes abroad; and for this end six gent. only to undertake it, who shall procure five or six men apiece to follow each of them, which men shall be ignorant of the design, till it be ready for execution. This plott is but yet brewing: if it goe on, I am confident, that I shall be acquainted with it and all its circumstances. They say, that many times his highnes hath not above six or seven with him; and that the rest of his guards ride before and behind, at a great distance.
A letter of information from Mr. Corker.
I cannot by all my endeavors learn any thinge concerning Sir Marmaduke Langd. coming over for England; and the reason I have not to believe it is, because neither myselfe, nor any other, with whome he holds correspondencie, have heard the least syllable of it. Besides there are several letters come to be sent down into the North, to acquaint them, that they shall have commissions shortly sent them from Cha. Stew. I confesse, when I was last in Flanders, and a designe being then for England, it was urged to come over privately into the North, and raise a party, that he utterly refused, unles he might be first assured of some garrison, or place of security; soe that if he doe come, you must be carefull of Hull, Scarborough, and York; for his purpose was to lurke privately, and not declare any thinge, till by his friends he had raised a competent number of horse aboute him. I know, if he be once come, we shall heare shortly from him, and then you shall want no intelligence concerning him; but we all imagine, that he will first come to London, before he goe to the North.
To prevent Sir Marm. Lang. designe for the North, you must have a special regard to the persons following, viz. Sir Matthew Appleyard, Sir Robert Hilyard, Sir Philip Mountaine, Sir Jordan Crosland, Sir Francis Cobb, lieutenant-colonel Thomas Wentworth, major Ralph Constable, Mr. Marmaduke Wyvell, young Mr. Thornhill, Mr. Sunderland, and Mr. Ambrosse Pudsey, all in Yorkshire; and to Sir John Digby, Sir Roger Cooper's sonns, lieutenant-colonel George Cartwright, and colonel Anthony Gilby in Nottinghamshire, who hold constant intelligence, and intend to joyne with the before-named, in Yorkshire.
I have sent you here inclosed a letter, which you may open, and reade and returne it to me againe: it is from one Binns a great correspondent of Sir Marmaduke Langd. here in this towne; whereby you may, perceive, what is intended, and what will be shortly executed. By a commission for examining of witnesses, he means a commission for levying forces, and by Mr. Middleton, he means Sir Marmaduke Langdale.
This is all I know at present. I shall study to doe you as much service, as I have done you disservice; and presume, in regard of those gracious favours I have received from you, besides some other considerations, you shall never have cause to impute either negligence or infidelity to
I forgot to tell you, that there are no letters come from Sir Marmaduke this last post, which putts me in some doubt of his remooving; but it cannot be long concealed from us, neither shall it from you.
Mr. Corker to Mr. Morland.
More Cavalliers still flock over from beyond seas. There are come since my last, Sir Theoph. Gilby, col. John Cooper, major Thomas Nayler, and others. They bring no news from thence, but that Cha. Stew. hath received some monies out of Germany, and hath reduced himself and retinue to a more uniforme and narrow condition.
We have great talk of a parliament, and expect as great matters from them. There are severall wagers offered, that before May next we have no protectour, but a stategovernment, nor any generall of the same family, that now is, but Fairfax.
Sir, I beseech you, be sollicitous to Mr. secretary in my behalf. You know, I have received nothing of my sallary for these three quarters of a yeare. If he would be pleased to suffer me speake privately to him, I could propound that, which might take of his charge and trouble, and be as beneficiall to me without any prejudice to my busines. I hope therefore you will obtaine such an answer from him, as will show, that he hath not utterly laid me aside, but that he hath still some respect to the livelyhood and subsistence of poore
Mr. Corker to Mr. S. Morland.
I have diligently and safely (as I could) enquired after Dean, but at present heare no news of him. If he stay in or about the town, I shall have opportunity to inform you. The heads of the conspiracie doe all shroud themselves; so that (I am confident) the neck of their plot is crackt, if not absolutely broken by his apprehending.
The commissions are not yet delivered to Mr. Stapely, he being at this time from home. I shall watch that busines; but I know nothing can be done sodainly, because the commander in cheif, to whome every one is to repaire for orders, doth yet obscure himself. And there are officers to be sent from London, when things are ready, to Mr. Stapeley, because he complaines, that Sussex is a country so litle inured to war, that it doth not afford them. He hopes to be employed by you, when the time calls for action; and so under that notion to doe his busines.
What secret and particular plottings there may be, I know not; but for any generall ingagement, (wherein I suppose there is onely danger) doubt not, uppon the hazard of myne own life, you shall have timely notice from
A letter of information from Mr. Corker to Mr. Morland.
I have been very inquisitive this morning, concerning the busines you spoke of last night; but I beleive you have been misinformed; for I am confident, that (if there be any such thing) it is among your own party, and not the Cavalliers. My reasons are:
3. The harts of the most eminent Cavalliers both in city and country are so deaded, that they have disposed again of those provisions of horses and army, which they formerly had. And I am confident, that if their master utterly faile them as to his promise of coming, which they now begin to distrust, he will loose more of them by it, then if he had attempted it, and miscarried.
Yet to comfort his party, I heare, that he hath written under his own hand to assure them, that if they can raise any considerable party, or procure any garrison, he will be with them within the space of eight dayes.
I beleive there is more danger of some of your own party then of the other; for Lambert was heard to say, by one that waits upon his lady, that for all this he would not goe out like the snuff of a candle, with some other words to that purpose. This mornning early, I went to Dr. Hewit's lodging, but found it seized on by your soldiers; so that I was forced to a retreate. The Dr. is rather a Tully then a Cataline, and hath been more prevalent with his tongue than his brain. He hath had a great influence over ordinary capacityes both in the city and country, and he hath pursued it to the utmost of his power.
The cheif men ingaged in Surrey are Morden, Sir Francis Vincent, and Bro . . . who, as I now heare, are all at a stand. The cheif agents to moove them, and carry on that busines, are one Kent a clergyman, and Dr. Cole a divine, who lives about Tunbridge. This Cole was formerly P. Maurice's chaplaine: he is a great stickler, but a great coward; so that I believe by menaces you may have any thing out of him, if you can apprehend him, and he knows much as to that particular.
By my most diligent search, I cannot as yet find any thing more of the footsteps of Sir Langdale. What I heare of him, or any other news, wherin Palden informes us, or any other, I shall faithfully inform you.
Mr. Corker to Mr. Morland.
At length Palden and Audborough (who have been so long expected) are now returned, but with cold news for the Cavallier party; for they confidently say, that Ch. Stew. designe for England for some time is absolutely laid aside. Other letters impart to us, that it is deferred for seven months, and that several officers are craving leave of him to serve other princes. Whether this be a colour at present, and some further designe hid under it, (which some would have us believe) I leave to your construction, and further intelligence. But this hath so deaded the hearts of all our party, that hereafter Ch. Stew. will scarce get any to appear for him in England. Davison gave you an handsome slipp the other day, but it is still about this city.
A letter of information from Mr. Corker.
I have seen the commissions with blanks, directed to severall counties. There are six commissions for Sussex: they are to be delivered to Mr. Stapeley, and he is to issue them out to whome he pleaseth. He is much troubled, that he hath not a commission for colonel-general, as he desired, because all the commissions are equall for the raysing of one thousand men. To this, answer is made him, that he may antidate his commission, and so command as eldest colonel.
There is some person of honour and quality (as they term him) who hath only shewed himself to two or three persons; as namly to Sir Humphrey Bennitt, and one Trelany a Cornish man. The agents are much discontented, that they doe not know him; but they are promised, that they shall know him in convenient time.
Mr. Stapeley is absolutely resolved not to act at all, if either colonel Morley, or the lord Dacres, be put over him. This latter, some thinke, will be employed, because chancelour Hide forbade he should be solicited for mony, because he was to be employed another way. He is willing to act under Sir Humphrey Bennit, who hath maintained 200 horses dispersed in Sussex this long time.
I have spoken with Palden, who came last from abroad; and perceive by him, that Cha. Stew, is in a very low condition for mony; and that if he should be sent for speedily over, he will not be able to pay his quarters, nor have mony to defray his charges over into England.
Sir Marmaduke Langdale hath sent to me to sollicite mony for him, and to be ready, when he sends me notice, to execute those orders in the North, which he acquainted me withall at my being last with him.
Mr. Corker to Mr. Morland.
I pray acquaint Mr. secretary, that there are diverse of late come from beyond seas to this towne: their names are Sir John Stevens Roots, col. Duke Darcy, Cooper, Quarterman, and others. They all seeme to fill us with hopes, that somthing considerable will be done very sodainly; but notwithstanding the generall noyse amongst them, they doe not pitch upon any particulars more then the assistance of the Hollanders.
I have found out the lodging of Palden, when he is in towne, which is not constant, by reason he is two or three nights together somtimes in the country. He lies at one Aplin's, a taylor's house in Black-fryars. He is one of the greatest enemies to Mr. secretary's person, and one of the greatest intimates with the duke of Buckingham.
I beseech you once more, mind Mr. secretary, how long I have been kept without mony, and that his honour will be pleased to provide for me either in this or some other way, according to his good pleasure.
If Mr. secretary please to have Palden, send to me for particular information, when he is town, and whether he will have him taken alone, or with som others of his comrades. He brags, that he hath an escaping place in his own lodging.
Informations from Mr. Corker.
That there was a meeting last week of some of the cheif sticklers; and after some breaches make up amongst them, they sent away a messenger that very night with their resolves to Cha. Stew, and they propounded to him considerable means of successe, that they hoped either he or his brother would come over sodainly and privately to them. This I had from Mr. Wyvell, but cannot yet learn any further particulars.
Some report, that they are shortly to have a muster of their new militia forces, and that being all together in armes, they will seize upon their officers and declare. This is so beleived by some, that they wait for that day, which they say will be on tuesday come sevennight.
There is one Heron a linnen-draper at the Golden Bull in Cheapside, who can discover much of this busines. He is a young weak fellow: yet if you please to ask him these questions, you may perhaps discover other persons, and things of much greater concernment:
These things are all certainly true of him; but in regard he may be had at any time, and that I am told, that his and Dean's actings are but a cloak for a greater designe, which is privatly managed by others, and which I am labouring dayly to discover as to particulars, it is referred to your wisdome, whether you will yet wait for further discoveries, or you will presently apprehend him as one means of prevention.
I cannot possibly give you a more particular account. Every one of us reports the busines will be done by the city, and that very fully and sodainly; but when we come to enquire how, or by whome especially, we are at a stand; so that I never knew any thing of that nature talked on so generally, and yet the particulars managed so secretly: but before they come to action, they must discover; and then you shall not fail to heare from
A letter of information from Mr. Corker.
The design I last acquainted you withall still goes on. Those of the Cavalier party, that have their frequent meetings about it, are Sir Rich. Willis, one Russel, Nicolls, and Hopton, and two others, who are prisoners to the Gate-house, but have liberty to goe abroad, viz. Sir Tho. Armstrong, and one Weston. All these give out to their adhærents, that the busies will be quickly done.
The Popish party are very much discontented, and have some strong designe in hand. The French ambassador knows it, and they are timorous, that he should discover it. Sir John Arundell is a cheif man in this designe.
Dr. Hewitt (for any thing I can learn) hath not yet sent the commissions to Mr. Stapely. I heare, that he goes out of town on monday, and returnes again on tuesday. It is my opinion, that he goes to meet him, because he himself told me, that on wednesday they intend to send one Carlton, whom I know, to Ch. Stew.
Some of the Cavallier party brought a letter from Sir Edward Hide, to furnish them with some money to buy armes, which he refuseth to doe, alledging, that the busines is so laid, that they will be quickly provided of armes.
Care ought to be taken of some of your foot regiments, when they goe to church, that they carry their arms in with them; for I hear, that when the busines is ready, they inten to seize one regiment in that manner.
Some report, that one particular man hath undertaken to assassinate his highnes; othen say, that there are severall of your officers engaged to set up Lambert. This last Dr. Hewitt told me, and that all partys agree as to his highnes destruction: but they cannot agree concerning the consequence of it; for it is thought, that the discontented one among you will shake off the Cavalliers, if they can doe their busines without them; and therefore the Cavalliers have precise orders to get into armes, and body upopn the first insurrection.
I have certain intelligence, that at Bristow the discontented spirits have provided themselves sufficiently with armes, and can be able to master the town at pleasure: they wait with much impatience till they be ready at London. I am told, that my lord Robert, though he will not be brought to hold personal correspondency with any Cavallier, yet he is a mane firm for us, and will engage servently, as he hath expressed himself to Sir John Arundell, whom he only trusts.
We heare also, that one of his highnes waiting officers was sodenly sick, and that it was imagined to be poyson; and that you were all much troubled to find it out, but could not tell, whome to suspect. This is the news we feed ourselves withall at present, and animate those fools, that will beleive us.